An important theme in my life has been the contrast of movement and staying still. I grew up and lived in the same place until I left for college, and since then I have shaken things up by moving every 3.5-4 months either by choice or system default (you have to move out of the dorm rooms when Summer comes.) Going to school at the same place for four years kept me somewhat grounded in Massachusetts, but with long winter and summer breaks, moving rooms/houses, and spending a (non-consecutive) year abroad, I developed the ability to pack all of my earthly possessions into two suitcases and a mentality to match.
The more I travel, the more the wanderlust spirit is ignited in me. I know I’m not alone, as there’s a whole community of folks who value movement, travel, and adventure, and sometimes our attitudes and our paths look similar.
Here in Portland, I know that the time is coming shortly that I will move again. This was more or less my original plan, to stay here for the Spring and Summer and then move on, unless I found I didn’t want to leave. I wonder what comes next, and already I dream of faraway places: Cuba or Hong Kong, for example. I struggle, though, with the big questions of how I will care for my existing communities and find new ones, be of service to others, use my talents, provide for myself, feed my spirit, etc. I have seen how travel and living abroad energizes me in a way that living in the US doesn’t right now (with the exception of its wilderness spaces.) I have also seen how growing and having roots in a community for an extended time (Boulder) creates some of the most meaningful relationships of life. I highly value qualities from these different types of lifestyles, so I find myself caught wanting both.
Ultimately, I don’t feel too bad for wanting to leave Portland. While I want to have a “mind over matter” attitude, Portland isn’t a “here” that I want to set deep roots into, not at this point of my life anyways. I’m pretty sure that 80% of this stems from how I feel during the rainy season, which is to say miserable. The people and the food are as fabulous as they say.
I trust that finding balance between these paths won’t be easy, but it will be fruitful. So here is to dreaming of the next adventure.